Comedian Izzard banned from Palestine Marathon over Israel show

Eddie Izzard pictured at the BAFTA awards in London in 2016

British comedian Eddie Izzard on Thursday was banned from running in the Palestine Marathon, after he refused to cancel a show in Israel.

Izzard, known for his rambling monologues and cross-dressing, is due to perform in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Palestine Marathon organisers said the comedian, who ran 27 marathons in 27 days for charity in 2016, was not welcome unless he cancelled the gig.

"British comedian Eddie Izzard cannot run for freedom this Friday if he entertains in Tel Aviv on Thursday," the race's official Twitter site said.

"We refuse to be used as a fig leaf to cover up Izzard’s whitewashing of Israel's occupation and apartheid."

The leftwing comedian tweeted earlier on Thursday to say he was looking forward to the marathon after the gig.

A prominent supporter of the British Labour Party, Izzard campaigned vocally to stay in the European Union and often speaks at rallies.

Around 5,500 people are due to run the marathon Friday, organisers said.

Its aim is to highlight Israel's occupation of the West Bank, with the Jewish state's much-loathed wall cutting through the territory.

A movement named Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) calls for a cultural boycott of Israel until it ends its occupation of the Palestinian territories.